Tamara Grigsby, the recently appointed director of the new Dane County Department of Equity and Inclusion, died unexpectedly this week from health complications. She was 41.
Grigsby was a community leader and advocate, particularly for children. She was a Milwaukee social worker and adjunct professor at Carroll College and UW-Milwaukee, according to the Wisconsin Blue Book. After that, she was elected as a state representative for the 18th Assembly district in Milwaukee. She served on the legislature from 2005-’13.
Prior to her most recent position as director, Grigsby was the community outreach coordinator for County Executive Joe Parisi. In this position, Grigsby worked with employers, public officials and community groups to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in education, employment and the criminal justice system.
“Tamara was a special human being whose sole motivation in life was to make a difference in the lives of others - a goal at which she excelled,” Parisi said in a press release. “She was a public servant to be emulated, but more than that she was our friend, and we will miss her so.”
Grigsby was a Madison local. She graduated from Madison Memorial High School and received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University. She then returned to Madison to earn her master’s degree in social work at UW.
Grigsby’s family respectfully requests privacy at this time, according to the release. A public celebration of her life will held at a later date.